Elizabeth line: Next phase of Crossrail opening ‘absolutely on target for autumn’

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Plans for the next stage of the Elizabeth Line's opening are "definitely" on track to be completed by the autumn, the boss of Transport for London has said. The next stage of opening the Elizabeth line will integrate services from the east and west into the new central tunnels and stations. It will bring what are currently three separate railways together – enabling services direct from Reading and Heathrow through to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield through to Paddington.

Service in the central stations between Paddington and Whitechapel will also rise to 22 trains per hour during the peak and 16 trains per hour off-peak. TfL commissioner Andy Byford said that the new Bond Street station is also still on target to open this autumn autumn this year. At a TfL board meeting, Mr Byford hailed "huge progress" at Bond Street, which has lagged behind the rest of the Elizabeth Line's construction. TfL is now in the advanced safety assurance work for the next phase, and is "absolutely on target" Mr Byford said. The opening is likely to "beat December by some measure," he added – suggesting a September or October launch.

The next phase is the penultimate stage before the lines are fully connected next year, with customers who want to come from the east via Shenfield able to travel directly to Paddington without first changing at Liverpool Street, and those travelling from Reading able to go straight through to Abbey Wood without having to change at Paddington.

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